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9 Reasons Why D2: The Mighty Ducks is the Best Sports Movie Ever

The Mighty Ducks series is one of the defining cinematic events of the 1990s. While the first movie is fantastic, D2: The Mighty Ducks is far and away not only the best of the franchise, but possibly the best sports movie of all time. That’s not hyperbole. It’s just a fact. Here are nine reasons why:

1. The highest stakes.
Representing America in D2

“It’s an international competition. It’s us against the world!” That’s right, Cake Eater. Our heroes aren’t playing in some regional Pee Wee League championship. This time, they’re taking on the world in the Junior Goodwill Games! Representing the United States instantly makes the story of D2 that much more compelling. Take Miracle, change Russia to Iceland, add comedy, and the rest of this list, and you have a recipe for a masterpiece.

2. The cast. The original Ducks in D2

Our favorite Ducks from the first movie return to the team: Charlie, Adam, Jessie, Connie, Guy, Averman, Fulton, and, of course, Goldberg. But we also meet new members, assembled from all across the United States. And how’d they come up with the cast for this gem? Oh, just by compiling the actors from your other favorite movies of the ‘90s! Besides budding stars such as Joshua Jackson and Kenan Thompson, this movie featured Mike Vitar, Shaun Weiss, Brandon Adams, and Aaron Lohr (aka the singing voice of Max in A Goofy Movie). And don’t forget about The Minnesota Miracle Man himself, Emilio Estevez. “The Quack Attack is back, Jack!”

3. The cameos.
The Great One in D2

There’s also a slew of cameos from professional athletes and Olympians, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Luc Robitaille, Greg Louganis, Kristi Yamaguchi, and the Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky. So much star power in one place.

4. The campfire sing-along.

Goldberg burns his smores in D2
What’s better than sitting around a campfire with your friends, reflecting on a job well done and making s’mores? Sitting around a campfire with your friends, making s’mores, and singing “We Are The Champions,” that’s what. There isn’t a more epic way to throw to the closing credits than with a sing along of one of the most well-known celebratory songs of all time.

5. The motivational speech.
Ducks Fly Together in D2

Have you ever been tasked with giving an inspirational speech? It’s not easy. When the team is down, Gordon Bombay provides the words that not only lift Team USA to victory, but stay with us well into our adult lives. When facing a major life dilemma? Ducks fly together. When a friend needs you now more than ever? Ducks fly together. When the rooster is crowing and the cows are spinning circles in the pasture? Ducks fly together. And when everyone says it can’t be done, ducks fly together.

6. The education.
Ms McKay and the team in D2

When you sit down to watch a sports movie, you expect impressive athletic feats, a good story, and high entertainment. With D2: The Mighty Ducks, you get all those things, plus more. We are given a history lesson when Ms. McKay teaches Team USA about the origins of the Olympics. We get a geography lesson when we learn later that Greenland is covered in ice, and Iceland is very nice. We even receive an Intro to Physical Therapy lesson when we learn about Gordon’s knee injury and Adam’s bad wrist.

7. The sportsmanship.
Gunnar and Charlie in D2

We hear over and over again that Iceland’s head coach Wolf “The Dentist” Stansson hates two things: fun and losing. When he chastises his star player after missing the shootout goal, Gunnar Stahl doesn’t get down about it. He tells his teammates to go shake the hands of Team USA anyway. The interaction between Gunnar and Charlie, the two captains, promotes good sportsmanship across all ages. No matter the outcome, you can still appreciate a well-fought game.

8. The life lessons.
Gordon's sunset skate in D2

When Gordon is named head coach of Team USA, he is given a sponsorship and gets caught up in  the money and fame. House parties in Malibu with celebrities and fine suits from Beverly Hills go to his head, and he forgets about his team. After talking to Jan and going on an inspirational sunset skate by the beach, Gordon finally realizes that the most important things in life can’t be purchased. Through all of this, we learn to cherish our friendships, work as a team, and to always have as much fun as we can, no matter what.

9. The Knuckle Puck.
It's Knuckle Puck Time in D2

In the history of sports movies, never has there been a singular play as monumental as the Knuckle Puck. The term has entered our cultural vernacular and is one of the most memorable moments in franchise history.  When Team USA needs a goal, with time expiring, to force the championship into a shootout, Bombay knows that only one thing will do the job: it’s Knuckle Puck time.

Stand tall. Fly straight. USA ALL THE WAY!
USA Ducks in D2

Do you agree that D2: The Mighty Ducks is the best sports movie ever? Sound off in the comments!

Posted 6 years Ago
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